When a blockage stops blood from reaching the heart, a heart attack occurs. A similar blockage to the blood flow of brain causes a stroke - called as ischemic stroke. If there is bleeding inside the brain it is called haemorrhagic stroke. This leads to damage to one or more parts of the brain.
Any sudden weakness of hands, legs or voice can be stroke. As an observer, you may notice a person’s voice has suddenly become unclear and her mouth has turned to one side. She may complain that her hand or leg on one side is feeling heavy or weak. These are the commonest indicators of stroke and its time to run to the hospital. The sooner you reach the hospital, the better are the chances of recovery. Sometimes such a patient may undergo testing, but the test may not reveal a stroke. It is possible that she has suffered a mini-stroke.
It is a warning from the body that lifestyle changes have now become essential. If ignored, a major stroke may result. Scientifically it is called transient ischemic attack which is caused by temporary decline of blood flow to the brain. This results in temporary brain malfunction. This may manifest as paralysis on one side of the body, slurring of speech, visual disturbances etc. Most of these symptoms are reversible within one hour to one day. A brain scan in such patients will not show any focus of stroke. But it may help in identifying narrowing or blockage in the blood supply which can be appropriately treated.
Urgent treatment of stroke depends on how soon she has reached the hospital, what type of stroke it is and which is the most suitable treatment option. Powerful blood thinner injections can be given to melt the blockage in suitable patients with ischemic stroke. As the clot melts, blood flow to brain improves and further damage is prevented. In some other patients, we use hi-tech machines to repair the blockage similar to angioplasty for the heart. With time, recovery of arm or leg weakness occurs. Ofcourse stroke medicines have to be continued lifelong.
Gone are the days when only the elderly were susceptible to stroke. With the introduction of fatty diets and processed food along with poor lifestyle habits, even the young have become susceptible to stroke. In fact, more than 5% of strokes are seen in patients less than 40 years of age.
Modifiable risk factors including smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical exercise should be addressed by everyone. This would prevent stroke from happening in the first place, this is called primary prevention. However, once stroke has occurred, a person has to take appropriate medications which significantly reduce stroke recurrence. This is secondary prevention.
The brain tries to recover from the stroke, but this takes a few weeks to months. Recovery depends on several factors. These include 1. location of the stroke, 2. size of stroke, 3. treatment given and 4. quality of physiotherapy. Recovery from stroke is partnership between doctor and patient. The doctor monitors the treatment, and the patient takes medicines regularly and does physiotherapy. This way, she can lead an independent, productive life.
Some strokes may be mild, requiring a short period of physiotherapy followed by good functional recovery. In others, you may find that the patient is fully dependent for day to day activities from grooming to feeding to exercising. Challenges in handling such a patient would include prevention of bedsores, prevention of urinary infection, prevention of chest infection due to improper patient position while feeding, giving the medicines on time, assisting in physiotherapy.
Location: Ground floor, Accident & Emergency Department.
Days & Timings: There are no specific days & timings, it is based on emergency
Accident & Emergency Department Contact: 022 25763322 / 3323, 022 71023322 / 3323
Clinic Coordinator: Mr Sandeep Ahire - 9930919051